A hidden currency, a currency outside the touch and reach of governments or the major banks of the world (at least that is what laypeople think or it was widely considered as such by popular media, however it really is only hidden using something like Bitcoin Blender). A currency in the hands of the people and not institutions with agendas. This has been the trademark catchphrase of the Bitcoin for most of its existence since 2009 when it made its debut. However, the Bitcoin and its offshoots have emerged as the major threat as of late to traditional money and investment.
You may have heard that investing in Bitcoins is the new trend or fad these days. After years of being translucent and ignored by lenders, investors and the market in general — outside those wanting to make anonymous purchases on places such as the Dark Web, hackers and a niche community of users who believed in the concept of such currency — the Bitcoin has emerged as the hottest investment of recent times.
Those who invested in the Bitcoin during the last few years and did not sell their assets won big, really big. Some have become rich men literally over night. When the market opened up to the blockchain and the value soared, Bitcoin was finally talked about and got the recognition it has deserved.
Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.
This has really caused the Bitcoin to transfer itself from the wild west of online hacking, gambling and shady investment into a legitimate, reliable and held in a public database currency. It has transformed it into something worth taking note by the major players in the world of investment and caused prices to spike until regulations started to occur and more people became aware of this form of currency as well as got involved in investing in it.
Those who invested in the Bitcoin during the last few years leading up to late 2017 won big, really big. Some have become rich men literally over night. When the market opened up to the blockchain and the value soared, Bitcoin was finally talked about and got the recognition it has deserved.
However, what many didn’t know until recently and until they started investing themselves, Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency on the market. There are also Litcoins, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum as options for purchase. The cost of the Bitcoin right now rises high above the rest, but this raises an aspect of speculation whether some of these up-and-coming cryptocurrencies may be a better investment for the future.
Will it bottom out, will there be a booble? These questions were often raised by crypto media and analysts and after 2017 the price did not drop to zero like some predicted or soared back up much past $15000, but fluctuated.
The amazing thing about cryptocurrency and the thing that makes such currency stand out from other liquid assets is that it is not government regulated nor is it backed by a standard such as gold. It is mined through complicated algorithms where there is a finite supply of digital coins possible. This has caused controversy and speculation on how real or liquid such currency is and what are its long-term prospects. This is especially true as government or other regulations come into play.
Right now Bitcoins are priced at roughly $9,400. Not that long ago they were astronomically high at just more than $15,000 for a single coin. If investors or dibbling hobbyists want to make a purchase they would really have to commit an investment for a coin. This was definitely something at one point worth doing for anyone who had the money, but due to the tribulations and uncertain nature of such an investment, I would not recommend truly putting one’s savings into such an endeavor.
Options such as the Coinbase app available on mobile and electronic devices, besides the website or web app available on desktops, allow investors to purchase just a small fraction of a coin and see that number grow or fall in real time. This has resulted in a lot of day trading.
The great thing about it is that anyone can make a purchase with a valid form of ID and payment method, such as a credit card. Anyone can also sell these coins at a whim as they fluctuate in prices. Coinbase offers purchasing options across various cryptocurrancy wallets — Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litcoin and Ethereum. So investors and prospective buyers can choose to spread their investments out as they see fit.
What makes this so hard to follow and predict is that these cyrptocurrencies fluctuate literally on a hourly, or even minute basis. You can look at your Coinbase app prices chart and see a decline in some of the currencies and 15 minutes later you will see a positive outlook again. One coin may be the hot ticket for a couple of days, but who exactly can predict it will drastically fall on day three? Such is the nature of crypto.
I have used Coinbase myself in addition to Binnance. Binnance was a bit rougher to set up, but offered me more options such as the Binnance Coin and the ability to quickly sell or trade between coins I owned. It was also cheaper per transaction costs. Keep in mind, I was investing some months back so things may have slightly changed.
Other cryptocurrencies are also worth delving into and analyzing for any crypto enthusiast besides just the Bitcoin. I mentioned such samples earlier. However, I did not mention the interesting ways they form or the underlying technologies behind them. This is a topic worth delving into.
One example is Ethereum, which is very interesting due to its nature of being tied to the Blockchain with a network of nodes that act as a ledger. Many software and hardware innovations in technology are relying on this ledger. It is quite captivating reading about the ins and outs of these coins and the way they work.
It would be real nice to see the Bitcoin rise like it did during 2017 where Bitcoin prices spiked by as much as 900%. However, do not expect this to happen. Keep an eye out for announcement of new and exciting coins and invest in them as they start to take off in steam. Also, stay keen on announcements or strides within technologies backing these coins that may signify a rise or spike in price and a win if you invest.
When bitcoin truly rose in price and people won big on owning its coins, public knowledge and interest was low. Thus, it was a surprise for many people. Now, with so many governments and isntitutions knowing about it and trying to control it, it will really be hard for it to have such spikes in price. It is becoming just another commodity, albeit digital in nature and this is somewhat unfortunate.
Please note that this is an updated and revised version of a story or feature I published on my personal blog in January of 2018 (thus, I could not use all arguments and stats from the older article, and updating things like the current price it sits at and some of my views).